The pursuit of perfection is making a real mess of modern-day motherhood. A recovering perfectionist myself, I’ve learned first hand just how discouraging, disconnecting and dishonest our culture’s obsession with this impossible goal really is. Everywhere we turn, there is yet another reminder that we should be doing more, that we must have more and that our lives ought to look a certain way in order to find the balance and contentment we seek.
Not only is this cultural fallacy responsible for an epidemic of inadequacy and guilt among perfectly amazing mothers, but it perpetuates an endless cycle of want, excess consuming, judgement and a belief that the best of life is just an achievement, improvement or purchase away. Learning to filter our experiences, evaluate them for truth and do good (as opposed to be perfect) helps us discover our most authentic selves and in turn, be better mothers (and happier humans).
Trade, swap and co-op your way through child-rearing.
I’m not sure how I would have made it through the early years without a strong network of moms with whom to share the burden and sweetness of raising little ones. Clothing swaps, meal exchanges, preschool co-ops, babysitting trade, neighborhood potlucks and celebrations around the turn of the seasons are great ways to build local community, save money and find empathy and comic relief from the chaos. The beauty is that there are no rules. Know how to garden or knit or make jelly? Offer a workshop or a weekly knitting circle or a jelly-making jamboree. Know a thing or two about astronomy? Maybe a neighborhood bonfire/stargazing is in order. It doesn’t matter how we do it, it just matters that we see the value in local community and invest in ways we enjoy.
I guess you could say that I’m easily amused, but hands down, the one household item I most often recommend is my $2 plastic pot scraper. It’s really nothing more than a rigid spatula without a handle, but I’m telling you, it’s the best thing that’s happened to dishwashing since the kitchen sink.